There is now a general feeling amongst us that we should re-open St Laudus for public worship again and we shall do so on Sunday 6th September, (usual time, 9.30am) when we shall be remembering victims of the virus; sharing what lockdown has meant for us individually and as a community; talking about how we see the future unfolding - and celebrating life and kindness…!
Government rules mean social distance and face masks are both compulsory and there will also be plenty of hand sanitizer to go round. Lots of love, too - definitely not compulsory but always of course part of the scene at Mabe Church.
This first service back will be different from what we’re used to: it will be non-eucharistic, we’ll be having a one-way system, no touching each other or singing, or refreshments afterwards because of course sadly, the virus is still here and will be certainly for the foreseeable future and probably for good.
Almost all aspects of Human life worldwide have been affected: home life, work, education, leisure. Some effects have obviously been devastating – death of loved ones, loss of businesses, income, homes, futures completely changed.
Other effects have actually, surprisingly, been positive: communities rallying to help those in need; new connections being made between neighbours, groups, communities; new ways of communicating, doing business, and of course ‘being the church’ in a lockdown situation. Change is one thing we can all expect in various ways and one of the things I ask you to do for when we gather in church on September 6th is to ask yourself in the meantime, some questions:
What do you fear most as we emerge into a changed reality?
What are your greatest hopes?
How has this experience changed your life? How have you changed? Firstly in your day-to-day life, your daily routines, your ways of thinking, the way you relate to people around you? What have you learned about yourself? And other people?
How has lockdown affected your prayer life?
What has God has been or is now saying to you personally about faith as a result of this crisis?
How do you believe God wants us as his body here, to respond to the covid crisis:
In relation to the local community?
In relation to the future of the Christian faith in this parish?
In relation to how we use our church buildings?
Anything else that you want to share that will help us face the uncertainty of the future with hope and confidence?